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21 Dec, 2018 15:13

Medvedeva out of Russian team? Figure skating star crashes at nationals

Medvedeva out of Russian team? Figure skating star crashes at nationals

Russia’s longtime figure skating leader Evgenia Medvedeva has essentially reduced her chances of qualifying for the national team after delivering a dismal performance in the short program at the Russian championship.

The 19-year-old who displayed her new updated program in Saransk failed to avoid errors singling her toe-loop in the opening jumping combination and later falling on her double axel.

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The visible mistakes didn’t go unnoticed by the strict judges who awarded the skater with low scores, something the two-time world champion has not been accustomed to.

Medvedeva sits just 14th after the short program trailing the current leader and principal archrival Alina Zagitova by almost 18 points – a gap which would be immensely difficult to erase in a free program.

The former world and European champion Medvedeva who was upset by her silver finish at the 2018 Olympics parted ways with her former coach Eteri Turneridze and moved to Canada to train under renowned figure skating expert Brian Orser.

However, their partnership has so far not proven successful as the skater has been struggling throughout the season, showing no signs of her former confidence and power which led her to two world titles.

Also on rt.com Zagitova v Medvedeva: Russian figure skating divas in contention for national title

Her unimpressive performances at two Grand Prix stages left her out of the Grand Prix final, and now Medvedeva risks missing the rest of the season, as only two top finishers will be granted coveted spots on the national team and the right to compete at the European and world championships.

So far, the reigning Olympic champion Zagitova leads the field posting a nice sum of 80,62 points for her “Phantom of the Opera” piece of art. She is followed by 14-year-old prodigy Alexandra Trusova who received 74,96 points from the judges and Alena Kostornaia who got 74,40 points for her short program.

Regardless of Trusova’s and Kostornaia’s results, they will not be selected for the national team as both skaters are not yet age-eligible to compete at international senior events.

The women’s competition in Saransk will continue on Sunday with skaters showing their free routines.